Composer and Pianist (b. 1947)

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“Schubertiade” drawing by Moritz von Schwind, 1868

BIOGRAPHY


Lenny Cavallaro notes with some wry amusement that the top four names on Anthony Tommasini’s list of “Top 10 Composers” were Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert. These men, he asserts, are his gods, and the geniuses whose works he seeks to emulate. The result, not surprisingly, is that most of Cavallaro’s music sounds as though it was written between 1720 and 1830.  He has been called “the reactionary neoclassicist,” and one critic went so far as to call him “a throwback to Schubert.”

Cavallaro has written two sonatas in the baroque style (for violin and clavier; oboe and clavier), a keyboard partita, and a suite for double-reed trio (including a three-part invention and two fugues). He has also composed a pair of piano sonatas in the classical style, “Songs Without Words” loosely modeled after Mendelssohn, and a number of more Romantic works closer to Schubert in spirit.

In 2013, Forton Music released three volumes of Cavallaro’s music for woodwinds – the Sonata for Oboe (or Flute) and Piano, Op.1, Songs Without Words for Oboe (or Flute) and Piano, Op. 2 and Three Pieces for Cor Anglais [English horn] and Piano, Op. 3. The same firm published his Four Romances for Cor Anglais and Piano Op. 6, and Suite for Oboe, Cor Anglais, and Bassoon, Op. 7 in 2014, and his Sonata #2 in E minor for Oboe (or Flute) and Piano (or Harpsochord), Op. 8 in 2015.

Earlier in 2014, Broadbent and Dunn released the Sonata No. 1 in D Minor for Violin and Piano (or Harpsichord), Op. 4, and “Raindrops” Fantasia for Violin and Piano, Op. 5.

Cavallaro, an accomplished pianist, was a top prizewinner in the J.S. Bach International Competition for Pianists and subsequently played that composer’s Six Partitas to the highest critical acclaim in Carnegie Recital Hall. A true “Renaissance man,” he is additionally a man of letters. He served for nine years as music critic for the New Haven Register and has recently edited and revised Paganini’s Fire, a novel based on the life of that legendary violinist, by Ann Abelson. [That work was released in November, 2011, by Stay Thirsty Press.]  Cavallaro has several other works to his credit, including a novel and a one-act play. In addition, he is a therapist, maintaining a practice in Arlington, Massachusetts (cf. FourLevelHealing.com).

Cavallaro earned his Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree from West Virginia University, and has served on the music faculty of several colleges.

In 2015, Cavallaro was admitted to Vox Saeculorum, a group of contemporary composers who write (to at least a considerable extent) in the baroque style. Later that year he wrote a conjectural "completion" to Contrapunctus XIV from Bach's unfinished masterpiece, The Art of Fugue.

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